One of the more interesting storylines of the offseason is going to be where Justin Verlander lands. He missed basically all of 2020 and got Tommy John in October of 2020. Rehabbed his way through 2021 and didn't pitch for Houston this season. The 38 year-old had a showcase type workout yesterday to show teams that he can still chuck it, and he did that. Joel Sherman and other MLB reporters were saying Verlander was in the mid 90s and even touched 97 during the workout, pretty damn good for a guy who only pitched 6 innings in 2020 and is his age with that injury. Now he was presented with the qualifying offer which is a one-year deal worth $18.4 million, maybe a smart deal for someone his age and in his situation. Or he could decline it and become a free agent and the team that signs him owes the Astros their first round pick. After how he performed in his showcase you have to think he'll ditch the QO and see which teams are interesting in bringing in the future Hall Of Famer. It sounds like there were between 15 and 20 teams in attendance to watch him throw, the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox and Angels being a few of them. He's an intriguing free agent for sure, a guy his age throwing 97 off Tommy John could be a weapon and maybe we see a little late career rejuvenation from Justin. Of course you have to worry about the elbow and the injury, but if there's a guy you take a chance on and roll the dice with it has to be Verlander.
You'd think with all the interest he turns down the QO and gets to pick where he wants to go. A team will offer him that multi-year deal and he can resume his career for whoever he wants. One interesting note was where the workout took place. Verlander's workout was held at a facility in Florida owned by a man named Eric Cressey. The same Eric Cressey who is the Yankees director of Player Health and Performance. There was another former Cy Young winner who did a showcase at the facility, Corey Kluber. Hmm. Interesting. No doubt he'll have his pick of teams when the offers come in, he could end up cashing in too. He turns 39 in February and said he wants to pitch until he's 45, maybe this isn't really the end of the road for him? Now we wait until the November 17th deadline to see if he accepts or declines the QO and where he goes from there. Do the Yankees take a flyer on him? Mets throw some money at him? The Angels always need pitching. Maybe he decides to bring it full circle and head back to Detroit? Going to be very interesting to see where he lands.